Ivan Misner, Guest Author
Delusion No. 2: To maximize your chances of getting good referrals, it’s best to move from one networking group to another at regular intervals.
This is called “scorched-earth” networking, and it’s about as friendly as it sounds. The scorched-earth networker burns and pillages for new business. He’s a hunter at business meetings, more interested in bagging the big sale than in building relationships and helping others. He does everything we say not to do if you want to build your business through referrals. He represents the absolute worst in networking.
The scorched-earth networker is constantly dissatisfied with the quantity and quality of the referrals he’s getting, so he moves on. He flits from one networking group to another, doesn’t establish any roots or relationships, networks relentlessly with everyone he meets (often inappropriately), believes that being highly visible is the key to referral success, and expects referrals from others even though he has done nothing that would make anyone else want to help him.
Serious networkers understand that, in order to build mature, healthy and mutually profitable relationships, they must devote a lot of time and effort to growing those relationships.
Have you heard the old saying, “Time equals money?” This is never truer than when it comes to membership in a referral-networking group. The longer you are committed to building the relationships, the greater the results you will experience.
Scorched Earth word-of-mouth marketing does not work, because building your business through word-of-mouth is about cultivating relationships with people who get to know you and trust you. People do business with people they have confidence in. One of the most important things I’ve learned in the past two decades is this: It’s not what you know, or who you know, it’s how well you know them that counts. If you go into this process understanding this one key point, you will have a better opportunity to build your business through word-of-mouth.
Avoid this pitfall if you want to create meaningful relationsips.
“Word of mouth is one of the most powerful forms of marketing. The cost of acquiring a new customer is almost always more than up selling an existing one, or getting their repeat business.” ~ Natalie Sisson, Founder of “The Ultimate Resource for Female Entrepreneurs“
“It’s the oldest, corniest piece of advice in the world but it still works. The strongest networks are built on friendship. Be a friend not only to the people in your network, but to the people who matter the most to the people in your network.” ~ Harvey Mackay
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Copyright © 2010 – Ivan Misner. Reprinted with permission. Called the father of modern networking, Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder of BNI and the senior partner for the Referral Institute. He has written nine books, including his New York Times best seller, Truth or Delusion? Busting Networking’s Biggest Myths.
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